The winter weather can bring some welcome snow and good tidings during the holidays, but sometimes the winter cheer isn’t always so cheerful. Far too often, the snow and ice can bring about accidents that could lead to serious injury and sometimes death. Even if you think the coast is clear, a thin, near-invisible sheet of black ice could still catch you off guard. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 20,000 winter slip and fall accidents in 2017, just in U.S. workplaces alone. Many more happen in public areas, parking lots, and other locations.
So, with this safety concern in mind, who can be held responsible if you fall? If you’re a Freehold or greater New Jersey resident who suffered what you believed to be an avoidable slip and fall accident, here’s what you should know.
The Duty of Property Owners
Under premises liability laws, many property owners are legally required to maintain reasonable safety standards around their premises, which includes removing snow and ice from surrounding concrete and walkways. If such an incident happens under conditions that have been neglected, then the property owner should be at fault.
It is important to note that single-family homeowners do not have the same obligations to remove ice and snow as other owners. However, owners of commercial property and multi-unit residential properties can be liable if they fail to engage in proper ice and snow removal, including salting, plowing, or shoveling, or warning visitors of slippery areas.
Ice and snow can also get tracked inside the entryways of stores and other businesses, and managers and owners have the duty to address this hazard, as well.
What to Do After A Winter Slip And Fall Accident
In the wake of a slip and fall accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call for the appropriate medical services, and if you’re an elderly person with limited mobility, consider investing in a pendant medical alert system, so you can quickly alert paramedics at the push of a button. Following that, you should try to lodge an accident report with the property owner, manager, or landlord, including contact information and specific details of the incident, and record photos and videos to corroborate the details of the incident.
Limit this communication to only the absolute relevant facts of the incident. Decline to give a statement, descriptive answers, or accept a settlement offer from an insurance company too early, as you can’t rescind it or walk it back once you commit. Rather, wait to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney who’s experienced in handling these cases.
Contact a Freehold Slip and Fall Attorney
If you need legal assistance following an injury in Freehold or throughout New Jersey, don’t look any further than Lomurro Law. We have decades of tried-and-true experience handling personal injury cases like winter slip & falls, and we’d be happy to put that experience to use fighting for you.
Give us a call or fill out our contact form to learn more and arrange a free case evaluation!